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updated: 10/13/2011 6:20 AM

Glen Ellyn residents voice more concerns about field lights

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  • The Glen Ellyn plan commission is considering a variance application from Glenbard High School District 87 that proposes installation of lights at Memorial Field, across from Glenbard West High School.

      The Glen Ellyn plan commission is considering a variance application from Glenbard High School District 87 that proposes installation of lights at Memorial Field, across from Glenbard West High School.
    Scott Sanders | Staff Photographer

 
 

Opponents of a plan to install lights at Memorial Field in Glen Ellyn raised concerns over safety and third-party leasing of the field during a plan commission meeting Wednesday.

It was the fifth such meeting to consider a variance application from Glenbard High School District 87 that proposes installation of six light poles at the Glenbard West practice field on Crescent Boulevard.

Glenbard officials have sought the addition of lights in order to increase usage of the field for sports and extracurricular activities. Members of Our Field, Our Town, a grass-roots group of citizens opposed to the plan, have argued that the lights would diminish the character of the neighborhood, decrease property values and increase noise, among other reasons.

On Wednesday, their testimony before the commission continued.

Resident Tom Poprowski addressed safety concerns near the field, citing studies that show accidents are more frequent on Crescent because of the street's configuration. He argued that adding lights would increase field capacity and create more "traffic -pedestrian situations."

"Adding more people to area with low visibility conditions ... seems to be tempting fate," Poprowski said.

Under the proposal, Glenbard would make the field available to outside groups at certain times for a fee.

Resident Gina Meyers said there could be an increase in demand of third-party sport clubs that want to play at Memorial since other nearby schools don't rent their fields. That could present "a slippery slope of becoming a business venture instead of use just for our students and community."

Also Wednesday, chairmen of two other village commissions -- historic preservation and environmental -- read resolutions passed by their respective boards opposing the light installation plan.

Julie Fullerton, chairman of the plan commission, said she didn't recall a time when other village commissions brought resolutions before the plan commission.

Staci Hulseberg, director of planning and development, said the two commissions were just offering opinions -- not formal recommendations.

Discussion on the lights proposal will continue Oct. 20. However, the village board will have the final say after the plan commission takes a vote.

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